dollar signYou may have read the title of today’s post and assumed one of two things. 1) This post is about what it takes to actually be successful in carrying out your passion; what it costs you and your efforts or 2) this post is about what you should charge others to experience your passion. Well guess what? You’re right in both instances.

For the last five years, I’ve grown within my passion. I’m a writer. To the very core of my bones, I’m a writer. It’s what I do. It’s what I love. It’s what I’ve learned I’m good at. It’s my passion and without it I’m not a whole person. I’ve also learned that I have a lot to share when it comes to displaying my passion to others. The last couple of years, since my book was published, I’ve had more and more people reach out to me for advice on publishing, tips on basic writing principles, to complete writing workshops, to write speeches and articles for them to present, and more. And for the longest, until recently, I never felt that there should be a cost associated with what I share (other than paying for my book). Well, if you guessed what I’m about to say next, you guessed right. It costs me time, money, and knowledge almost every time I engage myself in writing for someone, conducting a writing seminar, or providing an outline of how to publish or write. I have to consider those costs and how they help me in the long run. I have printed material, time is put into developing the presentation, etc. I know I have to continue to grow my brand and get people to buy into my expertise and doing free things helps to get me there. And I’m sure I’ll continue to do SOME free initiatives. But the point is, I now really value what I have built on. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but for those that aren’t quite where I am yet, they obviously value my knowledge, my understanding and my ability to relay information on writing and so should I.

So… while you should do your passion because it’s what you LOVE to do; you have to be realistic in what stretches you too far. Take pride and value your expertise in your passion. Here are some quick steps when developing your pricing for your services and communicating those charges.

  1. Research what others in your area of expertise charge for the service(s) or similar. The best way to be sure you’re being fair about your prices is to see what others are charging. Price gouging is a no-no. So, be sure you’re aligned with the rest of your market.
  2. Complete a cost analysis on what costs you incur when providing expertise of your passion. For example, how much  do your printed materials cost you? What hourly rate would you consider compensatory for your efforts?
  3. Outline your price list for your customer. Be professional. Communicate your prices in a way that is clear and professional. Have a standard well-written document that outlines your costs.
  4. Be consistent. If you’re going to have different prices based on various service types, be sure to be consistent with everyone that inquires. People do talk and you don’t want to build a poor reputation of being inconsistent.
  5. Tell people your costs up front for doing business when they request your expertise/services on something.
  6. Don’ t be apologetic for taking value in your time and expertise/service.
  7. Value your worth. If you don’t, the requester won’t. And more than likely they probably will pay someone who does value their worth.

Today declare that you are worth every penny that you’ll request going forward for your work. And it’s OK to do pro bono from time to time, just don’t cut yourself short when you don’t have to. Until the next post, passionistas! Keep living passionately and doing so OUT LOUD! 😉